Between now and June 23rd, you're going to continue to hear dozens of names when it comes to who the San Antonio Spurs should select in the NBA Draft.
There will certainly be some potential All-Star options at number nine, and as is the case every year, star talents will be found throughout the entire draft from 1-60. I mean, Dejounte Murray was taken 29th in 2016 -- San Antonio will have made three picks by that time in this draft.
Still, it'll be important for the future of this franchise for them to nail their first pick, which will be their first top-10 NBA Draft pick since Tim Duncan (1st) in 1997. As the old saying goes, "they made the Play-In Tournament and all they got was this lousy 9th pick." That's how that goes, right?
We've been spending all summer sharing our thoughts on who Brian Wright and company should and shouldn't take in this top-heavy draft class, but I recently took to Reddit to see what some of the fans are thinking with the event one month away.
User u/AugustKellerThinks has been doing his own mock draft of Reddit fanbases and asking who they'd pick among the popular choices in each position. On Tuesday, the user polled the Spurs' Reddit page after having already selected the top eight draftees via each team's polls. The results of the first eight selections were as follows:
1. Jabari Smith - Orlando Magic
2. Chet Holmgren - Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Paolo Banchero - Houston Rockets
4. Jaden Ivey - Sacramento Kings
5. Shaedon Sharpe - Detroit Pistons
6. Benn Mathurin - Indiana Pacers
7. Keegan Murray - Portland Trail Blazers
8. Dyson Daniels - New Orleans Pelicans
I'm unsure of how the poll options were decided, but my guess is the user included players most frequently mocked in the range of 9th and maybe factored in a couple of things. Nonetheless, the choices offered to Spurs fans were:
AJ Griffin (Duke)
Jalen Duren (Memphis)
Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)
Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
Ousmane Dieng (New Zealand)
A Surprising favorite emerges among Spurs fans
At first glance when looking at the options, I would probably say AJ Griffin or Jalen Duren would be the most logical choices for San Antonio at 9th out of this pool. Duren's length and versatility make him a fit with what the Spurs really need this offseason while Griffin's physical profile and switchability are appealing.
Surprisingly, fans didn't agree, voting Griffin fourth and Duren second in the poll. Here's how the votes broke down:
Jeremy Sochan - 367
Jalen Duren - 244
Ousmane Dieng - 92
AJ Griffin - 86
Johnny Davis - 69
Ochai Agbaji - 65
I'm not sure what caused Griffin to slide all the way to fourth when I look at what he offers -- other than his lack of size. Maybe that was enough for so many fans to pass up, which I understand. After all, I've been advocating for the Spurs to take the best available player 6-10 or taller if possible.
I'll admit I wasn't the highest on taking Jeremy Sochan with this pick until I read an in-depth dive into what he could offer the Spurs by my colleague, Roberto Araiza, last Friday. After that, I was sold, and it looks like over 300 fans on Reddit agree.
While not quite 6-10, Sochan seems well beyond his years in many facets of the game and seems like he'd fit perfectly into the Spurs' culture.
While an unexpected answer, it's easy to see why fans are high on Sochan after reading more about him, which you can do in the profile above.
With his stock rising at the NBA Draft Combine and several teams having reported interest, it might require the Spurs to move up to get him if they really want him -- something they have the assets to potentially do on draft day.